Cardinal fledglings seem to be everywhere right now. I’m so glad to see so many in our yard this summer. It’s been a tough one with the heat and severe storms just about every other day, several free-roaming neighborhood cats, and a Cooper’s hawk nest nearby.
Cardinal fledglings seem to be everywhere right now. I am not complaining. Click on pictures to enlarge.
I hope this little one had a safe night. I saw him yesterday hopping around. He cannot fly yet. I waited for about thirty minutes and never saw a parent check on him. He was in front of a lot of bushes I have let go wild so animals can have some cover. I did not want to scare him too much for fear he would hide and miss getting fed by a parent, so I waited. After another thirty minutes, I tried to feed him, but could not get close enough. I always go back and forth on whether to intervene; I do not want to “kidnap” a little one if the parents are around. After two hours, he was losing his little voice and I was getting worried. I decided to go out and throw a few raisins around hoping a parent would come and notice him. I imagine he just strayed too far from the rest of the family. Sure enough, a parent came soaring in and stuffed him full of raisins. He then led him away to some trees at the back of the yard. Click on picture to enlarge.
I love watching the robins feeding their kids. As hot as it has been, I have not seen them as often and was a bit worried that the heat was taking its toll this year. Good to see them! Click on pictures to enlarge.
I was cooking dinner when I saw this baby cardinal and her father on the patio. I ran for the camera and filmed them through the window. How sweet!
This is one cute little fuzzball. I wish the pictures were better, but I did not want to get too close. Click on pictures to enlarge.
Baby birds are everywhere right now. Watch out for them. If you find a baby bird, do not assume it needs rescuing. Every year, good intentions separate a great deal of healthy babies from their parents. More often than not, the baby’s parents are nearby and have been feeding her/him. Cornell has some great info on what to do and what not to do.
Operation Wildlife advises if you find a baby bird and he or she is hopping, has most of his or her feathers, and has a short tail, the baby is a fledgling still learning to fly. His or her parents are nearby watching, feeding, and socializing the baby. I know it can be hard to resist getting involved. They look so vulnerable, but they need to be left alone so their parents can take care of them. If you are not sure if a baby needs help, call your local wildlife rehab. They will be happy to tell you. This is Operation Wildlife’s busiest time of the year. Donate or volunteer if you can. Join their Facebook page.
Click on pictures to enlarge.
We went back this morning to see how our young friend was doing and found him sitting on top of a pole near the same spot. His sister apparently fledged also. It was great to see them doing well. We also saw some activity at the other nest box. Notice the little face peeking out. Click on pictures to enlarge.
I was on my way back from checking on one of the eagle nests last week when I saw a baby kestrel in the road. At first, I thought he was an injured adult. There are many big trucks that come down this road and I was afraid he was going to get run over. I called Operation Wildlife and the wonderful woman on the line said, “Is his tail about two inches long?” I realized she was asking because he was a baby and his parents were probably around feeding him. I asked her if she thought it would be OK for me to move him into the nearby field so he wouldn’t get hit by a car. She said that would probably be a good idea. I really wanted to pick him up and give him a few pets while I was doing this, but of course, I knew no matter how cute he looked, I could lose a finger, not to mention, terrify him. I grabbed a canvas bag out of the car and used it to scoot him out of the road. He hissed at me a bit, but seemed very curious about what I was saying to him (I was telling him how beautiful he was and giving him a little lecture about staying out of the middle of the road).
After I got him into the field, I heard the parents overhead giving me a scolding, so I figured everything would be OK. We went back to check on him over the next few days and realized that the reason he was hanging out in this area, so near the road, was there is a nest box nearby. Sure enough, another baby was sticking her head out watching. The nest box looked a bit like a phone box, so we hadn’t noticed it before. When we checked on him the last time, he was in the same area, but seemed to be doing a bit more flying. We haven’t been back in several days. I pray that he and his siblings are doing well. We hope to drive back by tomorrow and see if all is well. Click on pictures to enlarge.
We went to see the boys and the nest was empty (I don’t know if they are boys, but I feel they are, so that’s what I’m saying). We figured it was getting close to that time since the last time we were there one of them was sitting in a nearby tree. Here they are on top of some irrigation equipment in a corn field across from the nest. Notice the parent down the way keeping watch. Click on pictures to enlarge.